[FIRST ISLAMIC MAP OF THE ADRIATIC SEA / ISLAMIC INCUNABULA] Isbu sahifede Venedik Körfezi ve müstemil oldugu Cezayir ve sevâhilinde vuku’ memâlik ve bilâde resm ü tersim olunmusdur. [Published by Ibrahim Müteferrika, (1674-1745)]
MÜTEFERRIKA, IBRAHIM (Tophaneli) (1674-1747)
Müteferrika Press, Kostantiniyyah (Constantinople), [AH 1145] = .
Original b/w map taken from “Kitab-i Cihannuma” which is one of the most important Turkish incunabula.
Oblong large 4to. (31 x 37 cm). In Ottoman script.
Exceedingly rare engraved Ottoman map showing the area of Venetian Bay, Adriatic Sea, and the western shores of Balkans with the eastern shores of Italy, drawn and prepared by Tophaneli Ibrahim, allegedly Ibrahim Müteferrika’s pen name, who was a Hungarian-born Ottoman publisher and the first Muslim to run a printing press with movable Arabic type. First printed Islamic cartographic example of the area.
Toponyms are in Turkish with Arabic letters. Written directions (Simal, Cenûb, Sark, and Garb) on corners of the map, and decorative compass on the Mediterranean Sea. Scale can be seen on the left upper side (El-mikyas: Mil-i Islâmiyân Mil-i Frençe, and Mil-i Italiya].
It's one of the thirteen charts from the book of Cihannuma. The story of Cihannuma can be considered an effort to keep up with the speed that knowledge spread around the world at a time when literacy was highly limited. Kâtip Çelebi began to rewrite Cihannuma in 1654. During the next six years, he added to his books the knowledge he gained from the books he read. Kâtip Çelebi was vastly influenced by nonreligious positive knowledge, especially by the Atlas and later the Atlas Minor of Gerardus Mercator. He had the book translated from Latin to Turkish by a French recruit and enriched his own book with the new information. He brought together in Cihannuma the knowledge of geography and astronomy existing in Western sources (1654). Cihannüma has 13 charts and 27 maps. Mercator's maps are distinguished by their distinct properties. However, there are such maps that depict Istanbul, Anatolia, the Caucasus, and the East that must have been borrowed from other sources and there are those with relatively less detail that might have been prepared by Muslim geographers. Sources cite Ahmed El Kirimî (Ahmed the Crimean) and Galatali Migirdich as mapmakers for Cihannüma. Their names are placed on the maps. Another name that is mentioned is Tophaneli Ibrahim. Researchers agree on the fact that he is Ibrahim Müteferrika. Perhaps he wished to hasten the printing of the book. Perhaps he enjoyed making this contribution to a book he half-owned. There is one map in Cihannüma that does not belong to Mercator. Nor is there any information that it was originally charted by Müteferrika's team. Historians state that the 'invertedness' can be found in other maps made by Muslim cartographers. Since it is a map of Turkey, the difference can easily be perceived. The Mediterranean coasts of Turkey are at the top of the map while the Black Sea coasts are at the bottom. The compass on the map correctly indicates the North. The map seems to be inverted but it is not considered scientifically wrong to draw maps in this fashion...". (Source: Boyut; Kitab-i Cihannuma).